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Rome 1

Adorable Chick

ITALY, GREECE & MONTENEGRO DIARY - DAY 13,14 and 15 - 14th to 16th May 2018

14TH MAY 2018 :
This most visited city in Italy, came into existence approximately 2773 years ago in the 753 BC (BCE) by one of the twin sons born to the God of war - MARS and RHEA SILVIA. It is believed that ROMULUS killed his twin Remus and founded the city of ROME, naming it after himself. The initial city was built on the PALANTINE HILL.

The city became the capital of Italy in the 19th century. It is today referred to as the CITY OF FOUNTAINS with as many 2000 fountains in various junctions. The smaller fountains provide drinking water to the passersby. The city also holds a world record of being the first one ever to reach one million inhabitants and also for having the most churches in the world. apart from being the first city to ever have a shopping mall. One interesting information that intrigued me is that roads from LONDON to EGYPT can get you to ROME. This goes by the saying ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME— the network of roads built by the ROMANS, in fact did !!.

The exciting 8 day Mediterranean cruise ( MSC Cruises) came to an end and our ship hit the shores of BRINDISI that morning. The disembarking process was long but easy. A taxi ride got us to the Brindisi railway station. Everything worked like a clock. The train to ROME was easy from here. The journey lasted 6 hours and a pre-booked Mercedes Vito awaited us at the ROMA station.

Finally !!! I was in my dream city - ROME.

The city has so much to offer that even to give a little detail of all the places of visit I needed more than one page. So the story in ROME is spilt into 2 halves and Vatican into 2 just to do a bit of justice to all the photos that are available in my own sweet camera.

It was 9 pm that night when we settled into a beautiful airbnb house in Rome in VIA NICASTRO. This beautiful house is hosted by BUCCI BENEDETTA, a kind lady who loves her job. The home is self sufficient and close to all public transport and a few super markets. Access to Vatican city & the historic Centre of Rome was easy from here. We had a beautiful stay overall and didn't want to leave.

Tidy Desk

The train journey from the Brindisi port to Rome proved to be a bit tiresome and long. We checked into the airbnb home, made our own dinner and called it a day.
15th MAY 2018:
A two day public transport pass helped us get around the city for cheap. It was easy to purchase these in the metro station.
That morning , we were all geared up to get to the Vatican City. (Read VATICAN 1 AND 2 for full story)
By evening we got to explore a bit of ROME.


Walking straight out from St. Peter’s square, we reached the CASTEL SANT’ANGELO. This cylindrical castle sits at 180 degrees from St. Peter’s Basilica and it is just a 10 minute walking distance from the Basilica. Though the castle lies so close to the Vatican City, it is a part of Rome.

This ancient fortress like structure, initially referred to as HADRIAN’s Mausoleum, came into existence in 135CE. It was meant to be a tomb of Emperor Hadrian and later on turned into a mausoleum when his other family members and succeeding Roman emperors were buried here. A sculpted Angel was installed on top of the Cylindrical structure giving the castle its new name. This Angel was subject to destruction a few times after which the current one in bronze was finally erected in the mid 1500s. The Cylinder of this fortress is around 200 feet in height making it an easily spottable landmark of the city. Entry fee to the castle is around 12EUR but one can avail a discount or even enter it for free with varied tourist ROMA passes that are available.

The interior of the castle is also home to a torture chamber. There are guided tours each day. We were happy to explore the area surrounding it, given the short amount of time.

The SANT’ANGELO bridge runs from the Castel over River Tiber. This ancient bridge was built during the time and under the directions of Emperor Hadrian himself. We were just amazed by the true to life, white marble Angels that are installed on either side of this bridge. We photographed the area and ourselves to our hearts content. We watched as a few birds made these statues their playground. There are 12 such wonderful sculptures on this bridge. The bridge is also known for its spectacular night views. Three of the central arches of this bridge actually belong to the Roman Era.

We spent quality time here before heading the SFORZESCA bus stop. We waited for about an hour in vain for a bus before we were advised by a passerby that the bus stop was no longer in use. We had a good laugh at ourselves. We ended up walking to the OTTAVIANO stop and took a metro to SPAGNA metro stop.. there we were finally !! right in front of the SPANISH STEPS. This metro line falls near the Piazza della Trinita and is one of the most convenient and cheapest ways to get there. The entire layout was even more beautiful than the pictures with the evening more colourful and well lit. With a total of 135 steps, this widest stairway in Europe runs down from the Piazza della Trinità dei Monti to the Piazza di Spagna.

At the top end of the stairway lies the Trinita dei Monti church. We walked down these steps and sat midway enjoying the evening for a while. The lights soon came up illuminating the entire evening. There was street music to make the atmosphere lively. A fountain - Fontana della Barcaccia, adorns the centre of the Piazza di Spagna. While it seems that sculpted fish are raising their heads over the waters, on a closer look this fountain is actually a sunken ship. This water is palatable. Sophisticated shops and restaurants make a bee line all along the borders of this Square. One of the most lively squares I’ve ever witnessed in Europe. The wide steps accommodate loads of people who come by to relax by the fountain side & enjoy their evenings. Taking a walk around the Piazza, we window shopped to our hearts content. At 180 degrees from the Barcaccia fountain is the Column of the Immaculate conception- A Corinthian Pillar with a statue of Virgin Mary.